Thursday, March 23, 2006

Reviews: Supergirl and the LSH 16

Updated 3/24: Added reviews from Comic Book Revolution, The Comics Fan, and The Incredible Super-Blog
Updated 3/26: Added review from Graeme McMillan, Comics Fairplay, Red X, SilverBulletComics, Jeffrey Bridges

new reviews added at the bottom

Well, it says "1001 Years Later" on the cover, but it feels only one issue later (did a year really pass?). The Legionnaires are still telling people they got deputized by the UP. Suddenly, a shot rang out - one going near light speed, headed for Earth. Yes, it's Supergirl as we could see by the cover, with what writer Mark Waid promised was a blockbuster. It sure took me by surprise.

Here are some online reviews of the issue, in no particular order (to be updated as more reviews are posted):

  • Michael at Tales to Mildly Astonish raves about the issue - it's "The Comic You Should Be Talking About."
    Since the announcement that the Maid of Might would be added to both the roster and the title, most fans have been wondering how Kara Zor-El, the current Supergirl appearing in both her own title, set in the 21st Century, and Legion, set in the 31st. A number of people have assumed that she would be timesharing between centuries, as the Pre-Crisis Kara did with the Pre-Crisis Legion. There has been much hueing and crying from some corners that this is a shameless exploitation and overmarketing of the character, whom very few people seem to like, anyway.

    It should go without saying that I think these people are morons.

    Consider: The hype on this series coming out of DC is that exactly how Supergirl can be in two centuries at once is the big mystery. And when has it ever been that the most obvious solution to a mystery was, in fact, the solution? Hell, when was the last time Mark Waid *didn't* juke us one way while setting up the real answer to be completely different?

    I've had a sneaking suspicion that the Legion Supergirl not only wouldn't be Kara Zor-El doing the timeshare but, she wouldn't be Kara at all. And, having read this issue, I think my suspicion is confirmed.

    Go read the article to see who he thinks Supergirl is. "That spells nothing but trouble for the Legion. I can't wait to see what's next."

  • Sean Maher's Quality Control is happy too:
    Supergirl's appearance as co-title of Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes looks like it might be fun. I'm glad to have Mark Waid back on scripts - last issue was a fill-in writer, and I didn't like it much - and Barry Kitson's back on pencils. Happy days.

  • Crazz at the Comic Book Observatory was pretty succinct in his dislike of the story:
    Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes was horrible. If you're considering picking that up, I would recommend that you don't do it, it's not worth it.

  • Don MacPherson's Critiques on Infinite Earths (which has been around for at least as long as I've been online, since the days of rec.arts.comics.* on Usenet) had a good review:
    Waid and Kitson offer up a fairly solid issue of this ongoing series and given the new title and addition of a key character to the case, the script wisely gets back to the generation-gap premise behind this incarnation of the Legion while incorporating the team's new legitimate status. There are a couple of strong scenes that hold the promise of greater conflicts to come, but it felt as though too much time and energy was devoted to the buildup of Supergirl's arrival. This isn't the first of the "One Year Later" titles to spend an entire issue leading up to a point that's plain to see on the cover of the comic book itself. I certainly hope it's the last.

  • Rokk at the Comic Book Revolution has another take on the matter:
    The Legion is being shoved back in the shadow of yet another Superbrat. This time one even more annoying than Superboy. Yup, Supergirl. Gross. I am totally disgusted that such a pathetic excuse for a character is going to take over the title from the oldest teen super team in the history of comics. The Legion has a glorious and storied history (despite DC’s best efforts to destroy it) and deserves better than to be made an after thought to a re-tread Supergirl. I think this is a huge mistake by DC and one that may cost them many long standing readers like me. And, I don’t see where this move will bring in any new readers. Sorry, I must have missed the memo where this annoying new Supergirl suddenly became the hottest thing in comics.

    Visit the site for more.

  • Bill Radford, The Comics Fan, is hesitant:
    But out of curiosity, I picked up this week’s issue, which sees the title evolve into “Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes.” Superboy was an integral part of the team when I was introduced to the Legion, so it’s nice to see a Super-somebody back with the team. And Supergirl’s perplexing disclosure at the end of the issue will keep me on board, at least for now.

  • Chris Sims' Incredible Super-Blog is cautiously optimistic:
    ...But what they do have is the best appearance of the Jeph Loeb Supergirl to date. She doesn't come off as irritating or ditzy like she does in Superman/Batman, she keeps her clothes on unlike her own book, and her costume even fits in with the Legionnaires'. It took Mark Waid and Barry Kitson to do it, but I may actually end up enjoying stories with her.

    Not only that, but she actually looks like a human when drawn by Kitson, not some super-elongated silly putty Super-Torso girl.

  • Graeme McMillan, currently one of the Savage Critics, questions the role of Supergirl in the renamed book:
    Like Birds of Prey last week, this is pretty much the same book as it was prior to (One Thousand and) One Year(s) Later, and as a result, it’s the non-Supergirl aspects of the book that are more interesting – the political status of the Legion, the somewhat bratty attitude of the main characters, and just how much society doesn’t like them. I’m hoping that Supergirl doesn’t overwhelm what made those aspects, and what made the first year of this book work so well for me (Waid’s humor, and the done-in-one pacing that also moved larger plots forward simulataneously), but given that the title of the book has been changed, I’m not sure if I’m that hopeful. This issue was Good, but the series has been much stronger than this.

  • Heidi Meeley at Comics Fairplay gives it a "meh":
    Insubordination and rebellion are still the mainstays here. Though given credibility by the UP, the kids are still alright. What Supergirl's presence will add is beyond me, but it is a fascinating concept. Grade: C+.

  • Red X is a new convert to the Legion:
    I am familiar, however, with the Girl of Steel who does appear in the book. She doesn't appear until nearly the end of it, which I like. This is also supposed to be a 3-part saga, with the book itself getting a change from what it used to be called. I liked how it was labeled on the front of the cover as 1,001 Years Later, confirming it's continuity along with the other 1 Year Later DC books. Supergirl, who is revealed to be the current Kara Zor-El, admits to one of the members that the Legion doesn't exist, and that her appearance in their Century is simply due to the fact that she's dreaming it all. Quite a jawdropper when I first read it. I'm eager to see how it turns out, and eager to eventually pick up Supergirl #6 and Teen Titans #34.

  • Ray Tate at SilverBulletComics gives it 4 bullets for Supergirl fans but only 3 for everyone else:
    I've been a long time Legion fan. I followed both the pre-Crisis Legion and the original post-Crisis Legion. I followed Legion reboot numbers one and two. The third reboot felt like one reboot too many, and needless to say I haven't had any interest in the fourth reboot, represented by the fifteen issues prior to this one. What changed my determination to ignore the latest reboot to hesitant curiosity? One name. Supergirl.

    The plot, not involving Supergirl, with nods to Isaac Asimov's Caves of Steel helps establish the rebooted Legioinnaires as representatives of the United Planets. They abuse their new powers, but they also do good. Honestly though, I could not have cared less. I'm in this latest reboot for Supergirl.

  • Finally, Jeffrey Bridges over at the Supermanhomepage forum, gave an enthusiastic thumbs up, the kind of review the DC was hoping others would have:
    Story - 5: Well, now I have another book to buy every month. If this wasn't one of the most fun comics I've read in years, I don't know what is.

    A whole lot happens in this issue, the first "1001 Years Later" story after Infinite Crisis. And yet amidst all of that there's time for development of one of the characters. Not only that, but the entire world Legion interacts in is incredibly fresh, imaginative, interesting and compelling.

    Friends, do yourself a favor and pick up this book.

    If you want to read it solely for the Supergirl factor, the jury's still out on exactly how big of a role she'll be playing in this book. Only Mark Waid and DC know that for sure.

    But I have absolutely NO trouble giving this book a high recommendation and telling you that you'd do well to add it to your pull list. If future issues are as good as this one (and the first six in the TPB I read), this is an absolute can't-miss book. I've got something new and exciting to look forward to each month and it's even got Supergirl in it, to boot.

    I have to tell you though, at this stage, she's just icing on the cake. I'd buy this book with her involvement or no.


    Go out and buy a copy of this book. No, really. Go. I'll wait.

    {twiddles thumbs}


    {hums theme from "Superman: The Movie"}

    The Homepage will still be here when you get back!

    {reads the Legion TPB again}

    GO GET IT. NOW! You can thank me later.*

    {goes off to get some popcorn}


Jonathan Miller said...

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who's not really enjoying the new Legion series all that much. I'm still buying it because a. sometimes there are moments that I just love (or entire issues, thinking about last month's fill-in) and b. because I'm a Legion addict. But the whole "generation gap" theme that Don seems to like just makes me want to give up. I don't feel it works; it's way too over the top and often makes me feel like these kids strive to be unlikable.

Sorry, sorry, just venting. :-) Great blog, by the way--it's nice to see that the web has taken over from rac. (Used to be a reader/contributor back in the early-mid 90s.)

Kon-L said...

Maybe it will really just be a dream and the Post-Zero Hour Legion will live to see another day after Waid leaves the title again?

Jonathan Miller said...

Or maybe we'll get a book based on the new SLSH cartoon? Maybe? :-)